Are some tires from China better than others?


RV Tire Safety

with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Here’s another question about tires from China:

“Tireman – In the post you linked further up the thread you commented on not expecting long life performance out of the lowest priced tires. There seems to be something in all of the reports for ‘China Bombs’ in that there are a lot of reported failures. Is the hype bigger than the problem? Should well-maintained OEM tires last longer than what is being reported? Is it your assessment that the seemingly high percentage of failures is due to the OEM tires being cheap, low-cost tires?

Sailun tires seem to have a good reputation, even though they are China tires. So it would seem that it’s really just an issue of quality of the build. A good tire is a good tire, regardless of where it’s made?”

In general, I would consider steel body tires, like many Sailun items, “commercial” grade, be they LT or ST type, and as such I would expect them to perform better that lighter duty tires (both ST and LT type). This would apply to other steel body tires too.

A problem with “reports” of failures is that almost no owners have the knowledge or training necessary to properly identify the real cause for failure. So while there may be a dozen reports of “blowouts,” there could be a dozen different root cause reasons. Some might even not be a tire-related cause, like valve or wheel failure or pothole or 10d nail through the sidewall.

Regarding quality: All tires sold in the U.S. are required to be certified by the manufacturer to be capable of passing Federal DOT Regulations. If tires do not pass a test (random selection by DOT) or if there are sufficient complaints to get the attention of NHTSA, they might initiate an investigation.

If it is found that tires do not pass the required testing then a recall might be ordered and recalls would include all tires made since the last tire that passed the test were made. This could be many thousands or even tens of thousands of tires. There are also per-tire fines. So this is something tire companies really do not want to have happen.

I have written a number of times on my blog about “China” tires and how I disagree with the concept which I liken to claiming that RVs made in Indiana are bad because most of the complaints or problem reports are about RVs built in Indiana.


Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at



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1 year ago

I agree that the country of origin may not say a tire is good or bad, but statistics would indicate that the number of issues seen with certain brands of tires from China are not built as well as others. Simply put, a trie that is almost twice as heavy and considerly stiffer in the side wall is a stronger tire. I have Sailun’s on the 5er and they look great after 3 years. Much better than the original wes***kes looked after 2 years. Sailum’s are much less costly compared to GY’s, but more than the original tires from China.

The statistics of blowouts are telling, but the fact that many oem’s Have started to put higher quality tires on the new units is also an indicator to which tire is better. And maybe the mfg’s are starting to listen!

Roger Marble
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, One problem with your method is you are not doing a valid comparison. Think for a moment where most RV trailer tires come from. If 90% come from Chine wouldn’t you expect 90% of the tire failures on RV Trailers to be on tires made in China? Similarly. I think that most TV trailers are made in Indiana. I also bet that most complaints about problems on RV Trailers are on trailers from Indiana. So does that mean Indiana is responsible for making poor quality RVs?

1 year ago

Biggest trouble with todays tires is not the tires but the idiots pulling RV’s or driving them at sports car speeds. Guaranteed fail, maybe catastrophic fail.

1 year ago
Reply to  Alvin

We have Double Coin tires on our RV (8R19.5). Two weeks after purchasing them new, we accidentally hit a huge semi truck tire carcass, that was standing upright, with the right steer tire entering Las Vegas. It was over 100 degrees that day, and we were traveling at 60 mph. We pulled over and found no visible tire damage. We drove for another 2 weeks of vacation and returned home with zero incident or sign of tire damage. The rig drove straight with no vibration or shaking.
Four months later I noticed a thumping noise from the right front at freeway speeds. No noise under 55, and still no visible damage. The thumping noise became more noticeable over the next 100+ miles. Had the tire removed and replaced. If we had continued to drive, I bet we would have had a failure. Can not blame Double Coin. Hitting a semi truck tire standing 12″ tall can’t be good for any tire.

Roger Marble
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis

Thanks for the post and information Dennis. Your experience shows that not all damage reveals itself at the moment of impact. Imagine if the trip to Vegas was the last of the season and you had parked the RV for 6 months before taking it out again. It’s entirely possible you might have forgotten about the impact and might even have suffered a complete failure and not thinking about Vegas blamed the darn “China-Bomb”

1 year ago

I will purchase any of the Japanese tires over any of the China tires in my tire size which is 295/80R/22.5 any day of the week. Chinese tires in smaller sizes may be OK but not on MY vehicles.

1 year ago

I agree with Jeff. We bought a 10 year old Class C on which the seller replaced the tires with Sailun tires manufactured in Vietnam. My first thought was “uh oh … here goes $2.300 for Michelin replacements.” But then I researched the brand and learned they only had 12 truck tires recalled in their 5 or 6 years in the US market. No issues with ours and I’m confident there won’t be any later.

1 year ago

I am using Sailun 17.5 inch H Rated Tires on my 5th wheel. An absolutely wonderful tire and strong and beefy. The replacement cost of these tires is about half of what a new Goodyear or Michelin Tire will cost.

Of course like most things, maintenance is the key to your RV Tires. Check them frequently, check the tire pressure and I STRONGLY Recommend you invest in a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor) And I use the term INVEST, because it is an investment to your RV Safety.

Sailun manufactures Commercial Truck Tires as well and their quality is Excellent.

Safe Travels.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff

My 15,000 lb. 5th wheel has been running Sailun 17.5 inch H Rated Tires since June 2016. I WILL replace them with another set of Sailuns when the time comes.